What are Emulators and Simulators in mobile app testing?

What are Emulators and Simulators in mobile app testing?

Hey Toby,

Emulators and Simulators play a major role in mobile app testing. Mobile app testers use emulators and simulators to create the testing environment for mobile applications. They are used in combination with other tools like test automation tools, performance monitors, system monitoring tools, etc.

There is a difference between an emulator and a simulator.

An Emulator is hardware that behaves like the target device in software, i.e., without any hardware-level emulation. Emulators are available only for popular devices. For example, the Google Android emulator is available for Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux. Emulators are easy to configure and usually run very fast as they access software-level instructions directly from the host machine (PC/Laptop) instead of running on the actual hardware.

On the other hand, Simulators are software programs that recreate all or most of the functionality of the target device or platform by means of software-level simulation only, i.e., no hardware-level emulation involved. They can be used to test applications on multiple platforms simultaneously by running them on the same host machine using virtualization technology like VirtualBox or VMWare.


Thanks Shahzeb for providing detailed analysis for Emulators and Simulators

Hey Mate,

Though both are virtual devices, the basic difference between a simulator and an emulator is that a Simulator works by mimicking the behavior and configurations of original software and therefore simulators are often considered as partial re-implementation of the original software.

Emulator on the other hand duplicates the hardware and software features of a real-time device, allowing it to function as a complete re-implementation of the software under test.

Rest, you can check on Shahzebh’s answer to spot all the other little details. I liked the way he has explained all the features of emulators and simulators. Brief and Accurate!

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